Published on August 30th, 2020 | by Bibhuranjan0
How to Launch the Small Business Loyalty Program of Your Customers’ Dreams
Let’s face it – customer loyalty is among the toughest things to achieve in the world of business without effective strategies. That is because today’s customers have their own needs and goals. They only become loyal to your brand or company if you successfully satisfy their wants and needs.
Your positive brand history does not matter to consumers. If your competitor offers your customers with better options, they will go to take it. Don’t worry. Customer loyalty programs can save from that situation.
Like other loyalty programs, customer loyalty programs for small businesses are designed to help you generate repeat business. Above all, these programs can cultivate a thriving network of customers who can recommend your brand to their family, friends, and others.
Other than rewards, the customers, you can also include rewards for referrals, social sharing, and any action that encourages loyalty. If you have no idea how you can launch a loyalty program for your business, then keep reading!
What are the Different Types of Loyalty Programs
First, let’s talk about the different types of loyalty programs that can help you keep customers from coming back.
- Punch Cards
This method is easy to implement because it only requires a hole punch and a stack of loyalty cards. As for the rewards it offers, the customers can enjoy free items when they purchase a certain product.
- Membership Cards
These physical cards can be around in the wallets and use to earn rewards. The cards require the POS system to sync with the used reward platform. You can often find these cards in grocery stores and retail stores.
- Phone Number or Email Opt-in
This type of loyalty program relies on points collection, but there are some instances that it is based on frequencies. Some companies prefer combining online opt-in with in-store because they sell products both offline and online.
- Online Registration
Customers see a notification asking them to join a certain loyalty program during checkout, especially when they are asked to create an account or sign in to earn rewards.
How to Launch Your Own Small Business Loyalty Program
Now that you already have an idea about the different types of loyalty programs, it’s time for you to discover how to create your own program.
- Choose A Platform
Before anything else, make sure to choose a platform you want to run a customer loyalty program on. Most small business owners fail to justify the cost associated with a customized platform. However, you have nothing to worry about since there are plenty of applications you can take advantage of. These include Belly, OpenTable, Fivestars, and LevelUp.
In order for you to gain important insights about the wants of your current and potential customers from the loyalty program, you can send them a survey. Plus, you can take advantage of Customer Relationship Management tools to it by filtering the contacts according to type.
- Identify the Rewards Structure
Once you discover the platform you want to use, your next job is to define how your customers will earn rewards. It is also important to determine what types of rewards you will include. In case you still lack ideas about their wants, you can always ask them.
Meanwhile, you need to determine what rewards are most meaningful to the customers, whether they will like cash back or free products, or will make more sense if you use frequency or points structure. You also need to know what you can afford to give away.
Are you familiar with MVPing? If not, it stands for Minimum Viable Product, where you can get a working prototype with the least amount of effort in the shortest amount of time. You may not get your loyalty program during the first time; you can launch your product together with MVP to make improvements according to feedback and results you get.
- Launch and Promote the Loyalty Program
Now that you have successfully collected juicy insights, next is to build an MVP loyalty program. However, before the release, make sure to plan out a promotion strategy carefully. That is because if none of your target audience knows about the loyalty program, then they will not attempt to use it. Not only that, but you will also end up wasting your resources and time creating it.
To give you valuable ideas on how you can promote the loyalty program for your small business, take a look at the following:
You can display visible signage on your mortar and brick locations, where your customers can easily see them. Make sure to include a sign at the POS or place a signage in the window that can catch the attention of the passers-by.
When launching a loyalty program, make sure to brief your staff. Do not forget to give them prompts that they can use when talking to a customer, be it in person, email, or on the phone. As your staff display excitement, your customers will become excited as well.
In order for you to leverage your social media channels, make to announce your loyalty program to your followers. You can make content like images or short videos that you can post on different platforms. It is necessary that the message is consistent so that your followers will not hesitate to share it. Expect that some of them have questions, so ready yourself to answer all of them.
Do you have a bit of budget for a promo? If yes, you can take advantage of past retargeting customers with the use of ads that will lead to the registration page of the loyalty program. When your site visitors click on your ad, you need to pay a small fee to the hosting platform. But you have nothing to worry about because you can always set a budget for it, and there are plenty of platforms that offer affordable services.
Are you ready to launch your own small business loyalty program? Do not worry too much. If you follow the tips above, rest assured that you are on the right track.